Day 14 :: Mama & Daddy.

on October 14, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 15 comments by

I like Fridays around these parts. We usually do something fun and exciting and call it a Top 5 Friday. Well, I’m gonna do that today too. But today is extra special.

Now, I’ve never been married. But that ain’t for a lack of tryin’. [Can I get an amen from my single sistas out there?] I’m not worried about it. I look forward to the day when I’m a Mrs., but until then, Ms. will do just fine.

So even though I don’t KNOW personally, I think it takes a lot of courage to walk down the aisle.

I think it takes even more courage to live the things you say down there once the dress is packed away and the bills are due and two years later baby Annie comes along and she is darlin’ but she is loud.

Today is my parents’ 33rd anniversary. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I like my parents. I love them, sure, but I actually totally like them too. I mean, we all have our teen angst years when the road with the ol’ parentals gets a little rocky, but luckily, we’re past that. [Especially since I haven’t been a teen in approximately 11 years.] And now, I’m fairly convinced they are cool.

And apparently, Mom thinks Dad is cool and Dad thinks Mom is cool.

I’ve really been pondering this, thinking about the things I’ve observed in my parents’ relationship that I will want to cultivate in my own marriage. And though nobody is perfect, I think I’ve found five areas of courage that have helped them last this long.

[With the hugest caveat that I AM NOT MARRIED and this is only my observations of what has appeared to work in this one Godly marriage. Now that we are all prefaced….]

 

TOP 5 KEYS TO AN AWESOME MARRIAGE as displayed by my Mom and Dad.

 

1. Courageous Commitment …. Mom told me a long time ago that when she and Dad decided to get married, they decided on forever. And even though it hasn’t always been easy or fun I am sure, they’ve stuck it out. That takes guts.

2. Courageous Love …. I try pretty hard to hide my mistakes so that people will love me. When you live with another human 24/7 for 33 years, it probably gets hard to hide your mistakes. And yet they still love each other. Like, so much. Like, it grosses us out sometimes.

3. Courageous Communication …. I remember being about 10 and watching my parents argue. Mom was sitting in a chair and Dad was sitting on the floor, leaned back on his hands. And it was the first time they looked like PEOPLE to me, instead of PARENTS. I remember watching them argue [they didn’t yell, just were talking seriously] and I remember thinking that they must be friends. My parents are good communicators- with us and with each other.

4. Courageous Planning …. I don’t think strong relationships just happen. It takes planning and sacrificing and investing. And that isn’t always easy. One of my Dad’s favorite sayings is “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” – which is why we children were taught to keep at least 1/4 of a tank of gas and cash on us at all times. 🙂 But in marriage, I think this saying is true too. Throughout the Downs family history, Mom and Dad have planned things that are fun for them and for us and that isn’t always cheap or easy, but it is brave to put your family first.

5. Courageous Trust …. In God. In each other. In the institution of marriage. I’ve watched my parents, time and time again, stand together in trust. Even when things looked like they were going to fall apart [and trust me, things have definitely almost fallen apart], they stood together. And trusted.

So today I honor them – for loving us well, for loving God well, and for loving each other well. They are brave people. I want to be like them someday.

. . . . .

What other kinds of courage does marriage require?

[And say a big HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! in the comments, if you wanna.]

15 comments

  1. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 4:56 AM  |  reply

    The fact that you wrote this speaks volumes about your parent’s marriage. It’s a lovely testament to them. (And your Dad is really tall!)

  2. Amy W
    posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 6:11 AM  |  reply

    Happy Anniversary to your parents! 😀 Mine celebrated their 38th anniversary last month :O

    You look like such a happy family : )

  3. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 6:21 AM  |  reply

    Happy Anniversary to my favorite family! Your rents are adorable. I want to see that wedding photo big so I can study whose what looks like who’s who. xxoo

  4. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:11 AM  |  reply

    Happy Anniversary to your parents!

    I love your dad’s quote. I think our marriage is a little more of the “Mess before progress” kind. 😉 We’ll be married 31 years on the 18th. Commitment is the one thing that held us together when it seemed to be falling apart. We are committed to each other – no matter what. Because sometimes that love part is hard. Just sayin’.

    Praying for you, Ms.

  5. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:39 AM  |  reply

    I liked your parents when I met them last year. And it was early in the morning, when I don’t always like everyone. Ahem. Anyway. Happy anniversary to them!! I remember thinking when we were at their house how much I admire their evident relationships with you and your sisters – and it only makes sense that that all started with their relationship with each other!

  6. Face
    posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:55 AM  |  reply

    Happy Anniversary to Sam Hunt’s Biggest Fan (and her husband).
    And… wow– I don’t remember your dad being so tall. Has he always been that tall?
    7 days till we see you!!!

  7. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM  |  reply

    love this! Happy anniversary. Beautiful post.

  8. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM  |  reply

    I would add “Courageous Transparency” to that list. Living with someone for 3 years or 15 years or 33 years doesn’t mean both of you are always transparent about where you are. Transparency can be hard for men, because we are a proud lot. But in my experience, transparency is required if you want to get to the point where others can see things like courageous trust and courageous commitment. (My 2 cents)

  9. posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM  |  reply

    My parents’ 33rd is 11.3.11 🙂 Congrats to your mom and dad! What a testimony and example it is to have parents who have made it!

    Blessings to you and yours!

  10. caren
    posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM  |  reply

    Congrats to Pam and Tom!! And thanks for giving the world Annie, Tatum, and Sally!! Love y’all!

  11. Kristi Kay
    posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 1:12 PM  |  reply

    Wow…what a treasure 🙂

    And what…you get to see the Hunts in 7 days?!?!!?!?

  12. posted on Oct 15, 2011 at 1:28 AM  |  reply

    I absolutely love this post! I’ve read your blog for awhile, and it’s so great! I lived the single life for many, (many 😉 years, and was recently married 6 months ago – it was so worth the wait for God’s best! Happy Anniversary to your beautiful parents! (I’m doing the 31 days series as well…31 days to active waiting)…Blessings and Joy to you oh courageous one!

  13. Amy
    posted on Oct 15, 2011 at 6:47 AM  |  reply

    How wonderful! And I call my parents, who have been married for 52 years, exactly the same thing. And I have started saying: “I haven’t been married YET,” instead of “I’ve never been married.” For some reason, that sounds a bit more hopeful to me. 🙂

  14. posted on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:45 AM  |  reply

    Just want to repeat what this dear man of God so humbly stated. forI too would would add “Courageous Transparency” to that list. Living with someone for 3 years or 15 years or 33 years doesn’t mean both of you are always transparent about where you are. Transparency can be hard for men, because we are a proud lot. But in my experience, transparency is required if you want to get to the point where others can see things like courageous trust and courageous commitment. (My 2 cents)
    (I added another cent to your brother)

  15. Randi Satterfield
    posted on Oct 22, 2011 at 8:28 AM  |  reply

    Happy Anniversary to your parents. Quite an accomplishment in this ever changing world.
    My Grandmother knew your Dad and said he was considered “quite the catch” in his twenties.

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